President Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio are to visit the US state of Minnesota as well as New York and Washington in late September – a month after Niinistö's visit to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump.
Niinistö and Haukio will take part in celebrations of the centenary of Finnish independence in Minnesota and Washington DC. The president will also take part in the opening week of the UN General Assembly.
Sibelius and academic laurels
The presidential pair will attend the Finnish-American FinnFest in on September 21-23, including a Minnesota Orchestra concert led by Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, featuring works by Sibelius. Niinistö will also receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Minnesota was a key destination for Finnish emigration to the US.
He and Haukio will then participate in a centenary celebration at the Finnish Embassy in Washington.
Niinistö's office announced the September trip on Friday, a day after saying that he would meet Trump at the White House on 29 August. The agenda for their first meeting has not yet been unveiled. Haukio will not join him on that trip.
Niinistö has met in recent months with the leaders of Russia, China and Japan.